Archive | February, 2011

sewn on and so forth

17 Feb

why aren’t the straps connected to the shoes? i ask the friendly ballerina.

you just sew them on at home, she smiles, so they fit your feet just right.

my blank stare surely betrays me.

oh . . . i do it. sure. thanks.

hours later, my hands’ hard work a meager success, i make the call to mom, glowing in anticipation of my return to the ballet bar.

sure, hon, i always sewed those on for you.


i’ve learned my feet have memories, fuzzy as winter socks.

tuesdays force them to remember, in a distant, lines-crossed way. with just enough radio-static to know the song’s familiar, not clear enough to sing along.

they recall once knowing this point and flex. the words – arabesque, rond de jambe, port de bras, relevĂ© – like a language they took three semesters in long ago. they grab for familiar phrases and rush to translate mid-step.

the rememberings turn to recognition, of what’s been lost and stiffened. muscles ignored, grace grown stagnant, posture repositioned. they beg of other body parts, won’t you cooperate? can’t you remember?

the brain responds with pictures, posed at recitals near and far. remember . . . yes. i remember.

brain nudges shoulders: pull to spine, reminds hips: up and in, up and in.

slowly, surely, the clumsy ballerina returns. grace at eight does not, it seems, grow untended, but the feet remember. tight slippers, sore toes, it’s all coming back now.

my hands, however, remain awkward in their refusal to recall. sewing straps on shoes, needle to leather and too often, fingertip. stitching before stretching, no memory of this exists. grace at eight, it seems, was not the work of a passing breeze, but was planted – and tended – by a dedicated gardener, needle for a rake, and thimble for a glove.


dear monday me / february 14, 2011

14 Feb

a saturday jog brings to mind the cliche: stop and smell . . . .

but all that smells in frozen days is dark and dirty.

the only warmth you pass comes in signature scent: au naturel.

the dog’s droppings, last night’s street sick — both lie preserved on the icy snow, fossils on display for winter’s tourists.

no flowers step up to lessen their fetid force.

you hold your breath to pass, all of nature holds its warmth.

but motives must be checked.

what is frozen soon will melt; will it be better for the ice age?

crack another cliche’s ice: dig deep to find what’s being preserved beneath,

catch the scent of what is growing, but don’t interrupt!

be ready, get set: prepare your inner hound to put nose to ground and track the scent at thaw’s starting melt.


the snow is indeed starting to melt this week! just in time for another blizzard i’m sure. while you’re pondering the wonders of old man winter – don’t forget to check out the next chapter in the collective‘s serial story. i had so much fun writing last week and am thrilled to see where our next relay-writer has taken us. check out the whole story here!

dirty shoes and laser lights

11 Feb

“this place is non-smoking, right?”

“technically. but the old stuff lingers.”

i didn’t believe her when she said it, that i’d smell of years of smoke and grease after just a couple hours in the alley. but she was right. linger it did. and although i hated myself for wearing clean clothes i’d have to wash again the next day, i’m glad it did. because it wasn’t just ancient smoke wrapped around the fibers of my denim. it wasn’t only layers of fry grease weighing down my hair.

it was one friend’s five-in-a-row strike run and break-dancing back spin celebration.

it was waiting in one shoe-line for ten minutes before being mysteriously moved to the back of another line . . . and being content enough not to throw a fairness fit.

it was watching high-school kids flirt and toddlers dance, all in the same silly shoes.

under the flashing laser lights of glow bowling, no one can save face. none can enter there and leave proud. with cheap lager and poor form, we managed to humiliate ourselves just enough to let it all go.

the next morning, inhaling the remnants of town & country lanes on the last night’s clothes, i caught the faint scent of genuine good times, and i didn’t turn my nose as i tossed them in the wash.

proof of said strikes and great nicknames